Best Trails in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado


Popular and easy trails in Rocky Mountain National Park

  • Bear Lake Trail: This is an easy, popular, busy, and short 0.7 mile loop trail. The trail begins from the Bear Lake Trailhead beyond the Bear Lake Ranger Station located at the end of Bear Lake Road. The trail circles around the gorgeous subalpine lake and passes through a woodland of pine and aspen trees and offers stunning views of the surrounding peaks. This trail is best used from March until November. Pictures and more info here
  • Nymph Lake Trail: It is a short, easy, mostly paved 1.2 mile round trip hike from Bear Lake Trailhead. The trail makes a steady climb up with a glimpse of Longs Peak through the jagged forest. The trail offers a beautiful lake with a floating layer of yellow lily pads. In the summer, the lake is covered with yellow blossoms of lily pads. This trail is best used from June until October. Pictures and more info here
  • Dream Lake Trail: This 2 mile round trip hike to Dream Lake begins from Bear Lake Trailhead. The trail offers remarkable views of Hallett Peak, Flattop Mountain, and subalpine lake. The trail becomes a steep climb for a small portion after Nymph Lake. This portion of trail, between Nymph Lake and Dream Lake offers an outstanding view of Longs Peak, Hallett Peak, and an abundance of wildflowers during the summer. At around 1.1 miles from Bear Lake Trailhead, you will hit the junction for the trails that lead to Dream lake and Lake Haiyaha. Take the right trail to continue on towards Dream Lake. This trail is best used from June until October. Pictures and more info here
  • Emerald Lake Trail: This hike is the most popular, busy, and is considered as a moderate trail. This 3.3 mile round trip hike through the forested jagged valley offers amazing scenery with high peaks, three beautiful lakes: Nymph lake, Dream Lake, Emerald Lake, and the waterfalls. The hike to Emerald Lake begins from Bear Lake Trailhead, located at the end of Bear Lake Road. The first lake, Nymph Lake, is at around 0.6 miles. After passing Nymph lake, the hike becomes steep uphill. Continue climbing up about 0.5 miles to reach the second lake, Dream Lake. The trail has a series of steep steps. As you climb up, around 0.5 miles you pass through a very pleasant and impressive pine forest. At the end of the hike, you see the real beauty of Emerald Lake carved by Tyndall Glacier. This trail is best used from June until October. Pictures and more info here
  • Lake Haiyaha Trail: This is a less crowded trail compared to the popular Emerald Lake trail. The hike offers a giant rock-filled blue lake, a waterfall, and colorful wildflowers that bloom throughout the spring season. This 3.6 mile out and back trail begins at Bear Lake Trailhead then goes around Nymph Lake. After passing Nymph lake around 0.3 miles, you hit the junction for the trails that lead to Dream lake and Lake Haiyaha. Take the left trail and hike almost a mile to reach Lake Haiyaha. This trail is best used from June until October. More info here
  • Sprague Lake Trail: This paved trail is a short and easy 0.8 mile loop trail located at the end of Sprague Lake Road. The trail features a beautiful lake and panoramic views of the Continental Divide and majestic peaks reflecting on the lake. The trail is accessible year round. Pictures and more info here
  • Bierstadt Lake Trail: This 3.2 mile loop trail begins from the Bierstadt Lake Trailhead and is considered as moderate. The trail is accessible from June until October. The trail offers a gorgeous lake with stunning panoramic views of mountains along the Continental Divide. It is a steep uphill trail with a series of switchbacks to reach the top of the Bierstadt Moraine. Approximately 1 mile from the Bierstadt Lake Trailhead, just after top of the Bierstadt Moraine, the trail reaches the Bierstadt Lake Loop Trail junction. Take a right at the junction and take a short walk to reach the southwestern shore of the lake for great photos.
  • Alluvial Fan Falls Trail:  It is a short 0.5 mile out and back trail that features a waterfall over big boulders. The falls can be accessible from both east and west side. The trail begins at East/West Alluvial Fan Falls parking lot which is located on Endovalley road less than a mile drive from Fall river road. Even though the paved portion of the trail is short, you can continue climbing the boulders along the waterway to get a closer look at the waterfalls. This trail is best used from May until October. Pictures and more info here
  • Alpine Ridge Trail: This is a short 0.7 mile out and back trail, but fairly steep. The trail begins at the far end of the parking area for the Alpine Visitor Center on Trail Ridge Road. The entire trail goes around the alpine tundra and offers spectacular 360 degree  views of the snow capped mountain range,  seasonal display of beautiful wildflowers and wildlife sightings. It will be quite windy and cold even in the summer, so dress accordingly. The trail is best used from June until September. Pictures and more info here

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15 comments

  1. Great info on th
    These trails..never been there.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for the post Jyothi. Have a wonderful day.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Lots of short hikes here, with great views and lakes. Thanks for sharing. Allan

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Lovely pictures and useful info shared, Jyothi!!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Well we haven’t been to the Rocky Mountains yet but we know where to look for walks when we do, thanks for sharing

    Liked by 3 people

  6. When I first moved to Colorado decades ago, we did a lot of hiking around Bear Lake and hiked up Hallett, Flattop and Bierstadt. I haven’t been to the national park in a long time, but I think I need to go see the lily pads you described on Nymph Lake! Your lake photos are beautiful.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Best souvenirs 😉
    Thank you Jyothi !!

    Liked by 2 people

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